This lovely wildflower was located July 4 alongside a back country SC Piedmont road, growing in full sun.
this is a showy plant called Vernonia angustifolia, or narrow-leaved ironweed. It is found mostly in the South Carolina Piedmont, as you indicated, and not much north of Columbia. I’ve seen it only in Charleston County, in Alabama, and in the Florida panhandle. It seems to be the earliest flowering of our Vernonias. A nice find.
Steve Hill, Botanist, SCNPS